Understanding Craps

CrapsIf you’re looking for a game that doesn’t compromise on any of the thrills or adrenaline rushes, then Craps is for you. With players betting on the outcome of a dice roll, the premise behind this game seems almost too simple.

It’s quite a versatile game which you can found being played in real world casinos, at online casinos and even informally on the street. Whether you play in an online casino or real world one, players bet against the bank. It’s only in street Craps where plays bet against each other.

It is believed that the version of Craps most players know today is derived from a more primitive dice game called Hazard. This is a very old game which many claim can be traced to the time of the Crusaders. Bernard Xavier Philippe, a Louisiana politician and gambler, has been credited with introducing the version of Craps commonly known as American Craps to New Orleans.  The interesting thing about Philippe’s version is that it gave players an unfair advantage as it allowed the use of a fixed dice. It also let players change their bets to what would be more advantageous. This was soon corrected by what become known as the “Don’t Pass” rule which is still part of the version of craps played today.

Street Craps, which is also known as shooting dice, is generally associated with African Americans. Because this version of Craps is played in the streets, players use the curb to roll the dice against. A type of street Craps was also played during World War II by American soldiers. Unlike typical street Craps where the curb of the street is used, the soldiers didn’t have anything to roll the dice against.  This forced the soldiers to come up with creative dice control methods such as “army blanket roll”.

While the history of the game is interesting and will help a player put the game in its historical context, it won’t help a player win. For that, a player needs a good understanding of the inner workings of the game.  A game of Craps will consist of a number of players who play against the bank. Each player has a turn being the shooter i.e. the player who rolls a pair of dice. Before rolling the dice, the shooter needs to place a bet.  This bet can either be placed on either the Pass line or the Don’t Pass line. At the end of each round or when the shooter rolls a 7, whichever comes first, a new player will become the shooter. Before rolling the dice, the shooter gets to choose which dice the player would like to use.

Craps is a game where bets are placed every round. Rounds consist of what is known as a “come out” and a “point”. Come out rolls affect the Pass line bets. If for example, in a come out roll, a player rolls 7 or 11 all the Pass line bets will win. However, if 2, 3 or 12 is rolled on a come out roll, all the Pass line bets will lose. If on a come out roll a player rolls any number besides 7, 11, 2, 3 or 12 the player has rolled a point number. This point number sets the number that needs to be rolled before the shooter can roll a 7. If a 7 is rolled before the point number has been rolled the round ends and all the Pass line bets lose.

A lot of importance needs to be placed on the layout of the Craps table as that is a crucial part of the game.  For the convenience of the shooter, most Crap tables consist of two halves which are mirror images. This means the shooter is not confined to one spot when it comes to rolling the dice. It also means that the table is bigger and thus does not limit the number of players who can participate.

Craps table layout








There are generally 4 casino workers at each Craps table. These include the boxman, base dealers and stickman. The boxman is responsible for the chips and also monitors the dealers. The base dealers are responsible for the bets. They both collect and payout winnings. The stickman tells the base dealers when to pay out bets and is also responsible for collecting center-placed bets. In addition to that, the stickman will call what numbers the shooter rolled as well as collecting the dice once they’ve been rolled.

There are a few things a player needs to know before joining a game of Craps. A player can only join a game which is at the still taking Pass line bets. In other words the game is still at the “point” part.  If a Craps game is at the point part, a player will notice that the dealer’s On button is on one of the point numbers. Bets can be placed up until the shooter is given the dice.

In Craps the dice isn’t simply rolled.  The shooter needs to make sure that the dice hits the table’s far wall. The dice must also only be rolled in one hand.  If the shooter rolls and the dice ends up jumping over the table, the shooter has two options. The shooter may request another dice or may choose to continue playing with the same dice.

Players need to note that every roll of a dice is referred to by a special nickname. These are important to know before entering the game. While these do add an extra element of fun to the game they can become a bit overwhelming for new comers. Player should also be aware they the nicknames may vary in different casinos. For example, if the shooter rolls two 1s, then the roll is referred to as Snake Eyes. However, if this combination is rolled during the come out it is known as “two craps two”. A roll of a 1 and 2 is known as Ace Deuce. While rolling two 6s is called Boxcars or Midnight. There are many different fun and sometimes very entertaining names for different combinations. It’s up to the player to have a good grasp of all the nicknames before approaching the Craps table.

Over and above the array of nicknames for different dice combinations, a player also needs to be familiar with the many different Craps bets. One of the simplest bets to place is the Pass line bet. This is a bet that the shooter will roll a particular point number. This bet will be immediately won if in the come out roll, the shooter rolls either 7 or 11. On the other hand, however, a roll (during the come out roll) of 2, 3 or 12 is an immediate loss for the Pass line bets.  Players can also bet on the shooter rolling a 7 before rolling the point number. This is known as a Don’t Pass the Line bet. This bet is not a common one as it is seen to be a bet against the shooter. With this bet, if the shooter rolls the point number the Don’t Pass the Line bet loses.  If the shooter’s come out roll is 2 or 3, the Don’t Pass the Line bet wins. While a come out roll of 7 or 11 is a loss for the Don’t Pass the Line bet. Players who decide to place a Don’t Pass the Line also have the option to place a Don’t Pass Odds bet.  This is a bet on the shooter rolling a 7 before rolling the set point number.

Players can also place what is known as a Come bet. In many ways this has a lot in common with the Pass Line bet. This bet is played over two rounds. With the Come bet, the player is betting on the first point number the shooter rolls.  The Come bet point, as it is known, is set when the shooter rolls a point number such as 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 or 10. Once this number has been set, the player can also choose to place a Come Odds bet. If the shooter rolls the point number before rolling 7 then the Come bet as well as the Come Odds bet win.

Similar to the Come bet, the Don’t Come bet is also placed over two rounds. Just like the Come bet, when a point number is rolled that becomes the Don’t Come point number. If the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling the set point number, the Don’t Come bet wins. A roll of 2 or 3 in the first round is a win for the Don’t Come bet while a 7 or 11 is a loss.

Players also have the option to place bets on single dice rolls. These are known as Single Roll bets. Players can also place bet on different combinations. These are known as Multi Roll bets. An example of a Multi Roll bet is the Big 6 and Big 8 bet. This is a bet that 6 will be rolled before the 7 and that the 8 will be rolled before 7.

Fire bets are risky but often payout big time. These are placed before rolling of the dice begins. With this bet a player is betting on the shooter hitting a hot streak.  These bets deal with point numbers that the shooter manages to roll. After the fourth point number rolled the payout is 24:1 while on the sixth point number there is a payout of 999:1.

Like all games, it’s important a player knows all the rules before attempting to play. And with no other game is that truer than with Craps where there is a lot to know about everything from the table layout to the types of bets that can be placed. Once a player has a good grasp of all this, however, this is an addictive and thrilling game.

If you’re ready to try your hand at Craps, we recommend you give Spin Palace Casino a try.

This entry was posted in Articles, Craps and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.